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Eleven Tar Heels finish with personal bests for UNC track and field this weekend

track and field head coach Harlis Meaders

Harlis Meaders, UNC's track and field head coach, addresses the team after a January meet.

The North Carolina track and field team competed in the three different tournaments, the Tiger Paw Invitational, the David Hemery Valentine Invitational and the Vanderbilt Music City Challenge on Friday and Saturday. Eleven Tar Heels posted personal bests. 

What happened?

On Friday at the Tiger Paw Invitational in Clemson, S.C., sophomore Emerson Porter finished third in the women’s pole vault. Junior McKinley McNeill placed fourth in the women’s 400-meter dash with a time of  54.69 seconds. Saturday, sophomore Jill Shippee placed second in the women’s weight throw (19.82 meters). 

In the Valentine Invitational hosted by Boston University, junior Mady Clahane finished fourth in her section with a personal best of 9:26.71 in the women’s 3000-meter dash. Graduate student Nick Golebiowski finished 10th in the men’s 5000-meter dash. Junior Matt Thornton finished 11th in the men’s 5000-meter dash, and Jeremy Brown finished 13th. 

In the Vanderbilt Music City Challenge, sophomore Dontavian Smith placed second in the men’s 200-meter dash with a time of 21.65 seconds. On Saturday, first-year Lauryn Hall finished the prelims of the women’s 60-meter dash with a time 7.63 seconds, a new season best. In the men’s 4x400 relay, UNC placed third with a time of 3:09.68. 

Who stood out?

At the Tiger Paw Invitational, Porter qualified for the ACC Indoor Championship in the women’s pole vault with a 3.98-meter vault. Simmons also qualified for the ACC Championship in the women’s triple jump, and her vault of 12.45 meters set a new personal record. 

Shippee, who placed third in the UNC record books for women’s 20-pound weight throw, broke her previous record with a 19.82-meter toss on Saturday. 

In the Valentine Invitational, Clahane and Edmundson qualified for the ACC Championship on Friday. Golebiowski qualified on Saturday. In total, 11 athletes finished with new personal bests in their respective events, and eight of them came from the Valentine Invitational.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels performed very well Friday at the Tiger Paw invitational, with Porter placing third in the women’s pole vault. McNeill placed fourth in the women’s 400-meter dash. But UNC continued the dominance Saturday and controlled the meet. 

In the Valentine International UNC performed well with strong performances by Erin Edmundson, junior, and Clahane on Friday. At the Music City Challenge, North Carolina did not perform as well as at the other two meets, but still had strong performances from their runners. 

Why does it matter? 

The ACC Indoor Championship begins Thursday, Feb. 21, and with the meet looming closer UNC had five more athletes punch their tickets to the meet in Blacksburg, VA. 

Head coach Harlis Meaders was very pleased with his team's performance this week, and said his team continues to improve. 

“I think the coaches are doing a great job of prepping the kids for the upcoming championship,” Meaders said. 

“Each week, the kids are continuing to get a little bit better, and we hope to get our best in two weeks when we go to the conference championships.” 

Where do they play next?

North Carolina competes in the JDL DMR Invitational in Winston Salem, N.C., next weekend.

@Areynolds_DTH

@DTHSports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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